Plate Tectonics

Layers of the Earth

What are the layers of the Earth?

The Earth has many layers. The three main layers of the Earth are:

  1. The crust (The outermost layer of the Earth)
  2. The mantle (Middle layer of the Earth) and
  3. The core (Inner layers of the Earth)

The crust is the outermost layer of the Earth and the thinnest of the layers. The Earth's crust is where the mountains, hills, valleys, plains, lakes and oceans are formed.

The mantle is the largest layer of the Earth. The mantle is much hotter than the crust, just as the core is much hotter than the mantle. There are a few parts to the mantle. The uppermost part of the mantle is part of the lithosphere (see below). Just below the lithosphere part of the mantle is the asthenosphere which is very hot compared to the lithosphere.

The core is the innermost part of the Earth. The core is very hot and its temperatures range from 4,000 to 5,000 degrees centigrade. The Earth's core is made up primarily of iron and nickel. There are two parts of the Earth's core; the outer core and the inner core.

What is the Lithosphere?

In Plate Tectonics, you will often hear the word, Lithosphere or Earth's lithosphere. The Lithosphere is the Earth's crust and the upper mantle.

Layers of the Earth